tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 22, 2014 12:30am-2:31am EDT
to just sort of continue on this point a bit but not to delve too much into this topic because my co-panelists will do that. some might raise the question, what about gulf interests in iraq and how do they sort of play into this? bilal will talk at greater length about this itch don't see a perfect alignment between american and gulf interests in iraq. the united states has been frustrated be the refusal of gulf states to embrace iraq or over the past decade or more as a fellow arab democracy or help iran on the path. i think we see a fundamentally different approach from gulf governments than from iran. the gulf goes have been willing to support the overall regional security architecture, which the united states has undergirded. because they have, i think, believed that u.s.-led security
architecture hases been in their interests and has been good for the region. this is one of the big dangers architecture,es that you see those interests, those disparate interests of each country playing out>k in different and dangerous and destabilizing ways, and that's one thing the united states needs to keep in mind. once we retreat other things with try to fill that vacuum which are not our interests. just again, on the topic of u.s.-iran cooperation, even if you posited that maybe i'm wrong and maybe there are these common interests, would we still want to see u.s.-iran cooperation? i think the answer is, no. first, let's think about the efficacy of iranian involvement in iraq. it's not clear from iran's experience in syria -- which i believe the ambassador will address -- -- iran has the able to defeat a group like eye is?
-- in isis in away that stabilize the country. they haven't been able to do that in syria. in syria, you seal the assad government has managed to avoid collapse, managed to avoid being overthrown, which is perhaps in defiance of expectations given that we have heard for a long time now its collapse is inevitable. but it hasn't been able to recapture its own territory or extend its authority with syria, which is what we want to see the government baghdad do certainly. i'd say if we saw the same outcome in iraq, that we have seen in syria, where iran has been very world, we could consider that quite a failure. an abysmal failure of u.s. poll and i don't think iraq would welcome it either. the tactics that iran would pursue in iraq would be similar to syria, and that's not something we would like to see in iraq. more involvement, for example, by hezbollah and other iranian proxies. the activation and arming and
fund offering shia ma littals as opposed to national institutions like the iraqi security forces, as flawed as they may be. and in syria, we have seen assad's force with iranian help wage war against civilians and that's not something we want to you'd also, i think, see as fallout from u.s.-iran cooperation in iraq, a lot of unhappiness amongst u.s. partners in the gulf, and i know bilal will talk more about that. we're already facing very skeptical allies in the gulf and this would only deepen the skepticism and complicate. a lot of other policy issues for the ute. and then just finally, on this, why i think that u.s.-iran cooperation in iraq would be a negative thing. there's a moral dimension to this issue. there is a moral complication to cooperating with a force like iran's revolutionary guard, whi[hy are the iranian sort of
force which has responsibility in the iranian system for iraq. this is a group that is not designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the united states but it has been designated by the treasury department supporting terrorism, iran is a state sponsor or terror, and this is a group which has been responsible for tremendous number of deaths of american servicemen in iraq, in terrorist acts around the world, and it's simply not, i think in the united states' nature to cooperate with such a group, even if it's in pursuit of common goals. i'm going to say i don't think looking to iran will give us answers in iraq. i think we need to, frankly, look forward in iraq. we obviously have a long history in iraq as a controversial history in our country. if we're going to help iraq to stabilize and help iraq look the path that we reside like to see iraq take, that iraqis would like to see, then we need a
forward-looking policy. we can't be consumed in the debates of the past and who is responsible for getting us here. we have to have a forward-looking policy. >> thank you, michael. i might ask you a quick question which i will do with each panelist and then go on to ambassador huff. i think for them the very compelling case for why the u.s.-iranian cooperation is not necessarily desirable and wouldn't be productive for a number of reasons but i wonder if things proceed in the direction that ambassador faily excused and -- discussed and if we think this is going on for quite a while, even to -- even if it extended roughly four month and there is a u.s.-iranian deal -- a deal on the nuclear program, what happens if u.s. forces and iranian forces are on the same battlefield looking for the same
end? so i would understand and i certainly agree with almost all of your points on why we shouldn't plan such cooperation, but we could end en -- very well end up being tactically on the same space, or should the u.s. make it a condition -- we're building a few hypotheticals here but should the u.s. make a condition of their active military involvement that there wouldn't be any engagement on the same side with iranian forces in iraq. >> well, i think that it's obviously a hypothetical scenario, but it's an important one, because if we do provide more assistance to iraq, which i think we should, frankly -- and i think shoot be sooner rather than later in coming -- we could find ourselves playing in the same theater as the iranians. i think that my concern is a different concern. that in fact for iran, keeping the united states out of iraq, keeping the united states from any kind after re-engagement
militarifully iraq, will be an interest which trumps their interest in defeating isis or stabilizing iraq, and we'll find ourselves more ad at odds with, once again, the revolutionary guard in iraq. thick we should try to -- i think we should try to prevent that by sending messages through the channels we have to iran about our intentions and what we're trying to do and what consequences iran can expect if they find themselves running afoul of that. i don't think that requires tactical battlefield cooperation or that sort of thing in part because iran operates fundmentally differently then the united states does, and i don't think there i would be any natural overlap. >> very good. ambassador huff, give us your insights on how syria plays into this and your broader thoughts on the buyer situation. >> thank you, barry. paint would be useful if i did an overview of the prospects of
some kind of practical cooperation between the united states and the assad regime with respect to the isis threat in syria. i, too will use isis as the word. this issue has come into considerable prominence recently as a result of an op-ed that appeared in the "washington post" written by three very accomplished americans, who implied that the united states should in fact seek ways to cooperate with the assad regime to confront what they described as the greater evil of isis. the specific point made by this trio of former distinguished diplomats was that it makes no sense to the united states to confront the assad regime and isis simultaneously. now, the president of the united
states and the secretary of state, at least until now, have taken a different position entirely. they have considered bashar al-assad to be part of the problem in the isis context, and certainly not part of the solution. my personal view is that the president and the secretary of state are correct on this. now, this is not just a matter of the assad regime having spent the better part of a decade ferrying al qaeda-type personnel into iraq to create may hem. it's not just a matter of the regime having emptied its prisons of violent slam just extremists just as the syrian uprising was beginning, and it's not just a matter of the
regime's sectarian program of mass homocide. drawing identifying foreign fighters into -- drawing foreign fighters. one can dismiss it as ancient history and say it's no longer relevant given the current threat. the salient operational fact of the matter, however, is that the regime and isis in syria, with the exception of some recent clashes around some oil fields, are focusing their military efforts almost 100%, not against one another, but against a target they have in common, a target they wish to eliminate, that being the nationalist opposition to the assad regime in syria. this opposition is, therefore,
forced to fight and defend on two fronts against the regime and against isis. what the work with assad crowd seems to be implying, therefore, is the following. let this nationalist opposition die. starve it of support. so as to hasten what they believe to be the inevitable conflict between the regime and isis. now, with such a course of action serve american interests? in my view, the answer is, no. set aside the scandalous and humiliating spectacle of working with a regime on which the united states is facilitated the accumulation of literally tons of archival material that will
eventually form the basis for international prosecutions, having to do with massive war crimes and crimes against humanity. set aside the betrayal of those syrians who have sacrificed a great deal in the expectation of some kind of meaningful assistance from the united states and its allies. set aside the sacrifice of credibility and reputation that is being asked of the president of the united states here. set all of that aside. what exactly would it mean to work with the assad regime in a practical sense? is there a role here for the american taxpayer to play, iran and russia have secured the assad regime in western syria. if the assad regime elects at
some point to fight isis in syria, surely iran and russia can be prime candidates to bear that burden. now, look, in world war ii, the united states did indeed collaborate with a mass murderer to defeat hitler, but no one questioned the sacrifice of the soviet people in fighting and defeating the greater threat posed by nazi germany. if bashar al-assad decides at some point to confront isis, i think we can bet on one thing, he will seek a free ride. already the casualties his forces have suffered in this conflict in syria have caused a great deal of resentment in
certain parts of the country. if either by commission or omission we caution the nationalist opposition to lose militarily in my view, we will still have no dog in the hunt in an assad-isis confrontation. my sense is that both sides, the regime and isis, will, for their own reasons, try to avoid an all-out showdown. isis will want to consolidate its barbaric governance of syrian populated areas under its control. and iran, which is the one party most responsible for the survival of the asad regime, iran is quite content to have the assad regime firmly in the saddle in western syria, where it can be of use to iran in the context of hezbollah.
now, clashes will likely take place, and ultimately there may be a showdown between the assad regime and the monstrosity it has helped to create. our best course is to move now, in my view, with dispatch, to help nationalist fighters inside syria now, and to build a large and powerful syrian stabilization force outside of the country. i just conclude by saying that to work with the assad regime is not merely to work with the devil. it's to work with the devil who, on a good day, on a good day, will meet you ten percent of the way before trying to walk back on that ten percent.
ask russia, ask iran, if this versus isis in syria, in my view, it is there problem. if we, the united states, judge that and isis presence in syria or iraq constitutes a threat to the american homeland, we can my view,hat threat, in without the costly and ultimately ineffective .ssistance of the assad regime >> thanks. let me ask you to clarify your large and powerful syrian stabilization force, number one, and number of two, what if the u.s. took the recommendation of ambassador faily and played a military role in iraq, how would that affect what you are talking
about in syria? >> i am hoping now that the administration has made the decision to go to congress with an initial request for $500 million to assist the armed opposition, i am hoping that what the administration has in mind is an effort that would go along two lines. first, obviously, the necessity of getting arms, equipment, money into syria nationalist forces currently carrying the fight against both the regime and isis on two fronts. that beyond that, it seems to me that there really needs to be, this is something that cannot be put together in 20 minutes, figuratively speaking, but there needs to be created outside of syria in places like jordan, turkey, elsewhere, a large, powerful
stabilization force consisting led by syrians, capable ultimately of entering the country and restoring law and order everywhere. or haps in cooperation with some existing forces on the ground, perhaps not. this clearly has to be a force that would do enforcement in nature that with shoot to kill capability. your second point? >> if the u.s. does take action in iraq -- >> i think the united states has a bit of a dilemma right now in iraq. there are some attractive targets, some attractive isis targets in iraq. i imagine that a good deal of target acquisition has been taking place. it is a bit of a chicken and egg dilemma for the united states
right now. if we were to engage those targets effectively in iraq, would affect would this actually have on the formation of a broad representative iraqi government? would it encourage that evolution or would it stop it in its tracks? i think, clearly, there are arguments to be made on both sides, but it is a real issue. way for theble united states to avoid this engage isist be to targets in syria. engagement could obviously, basically hitting syria, whereas in that engagement could have a positive effect on the tactical situation in iraq without necessarily getting directly into this chicken and egg
dilemma. it would also have, conceivably, for syrianve impacts nationalist fighters. you know, getting arms, isipment, into these folks not the easiest logistical operation in the world. yet, time is of the essence. if the united states chooses to militarily in the near future, what i am may being is that syria a more appropriate place to do it. >> thank you, fred. bilal, you have been very patient. please weigh in on these issues. >> thinks. he won arab gulf country with the biggest stake in what happens in iraq and whose strategic interests are affected the most by what happens in iraq is saudi arabia. i will focus more on saudi
arabia, but i am happy to talk can'--he other gulf: gulf country string the q&a. iran and saudi arabia are struggling to determine the best way to move forward in iraq. it is a delicate balancing act in iraq. .et me start with iran the iranian rhetoric has been pretty strong on iraq, but i think that the response has been pretty limited. so it is kind of a disconnect between the two. here is isis threatening to destroy holy shiite shrines in that and you would expect the iranians would send hundreds, if not thousands, of their own troops and militias to iraq, possibly even hezbollah since they have done a pretty good job in syria, but none of that has happened. dave sent in arms to help the
iraqi army. shut down amuch website to go fight in iraq alongside religions in a rock o, kind of surprising. the response has been kind of reserved. more to protect their strategic interest in iraq . i think the iranian leadership knows there will be dire consequences should they act more forcefully in iraq. and a moreattrition, intense rivalry with saudi arabia that the iranians might not need right now. they are also talking to washington. there is something brewing in relationship.
they do not want to go hard after isis in iraq and putting washington in a difficult position with regard to its partners also. some lawmakers will object to the idea of cooperating with washington. matter, weple who haven't heard much about what many are saying. we know that they have no problem talking to and cooperating with washington and iraq. let me turn over to saudi arabia, which really is a fascinating story. a little bit puzzled by policy and thinking in iraq and across the middle east. for those who think that riyadh is after isis do not understand what isis is or don't understand the threat that groups like isis
pose to the saudi kingdom. let me refresh your memory. after the fall in 2003 of kandahar, u.s. intelligence agencies were surprised but the depth and the spread of the infrastructure in the kingdom. that was an ugly surprise. after the u.s. invasion of iraq, there was a massive insurgency by osama bin laden. that was one of his key goals, the third front. it was battle at all stakes, monarchy, which he thought was a corrupt monarchy. this was not easy to crush. it was a pretty major uprising.
i am not really talking about gun battles in remote areas. this was happening across the country. i study this very carefully. some pretty major cities in saudi arabia. the country was on fire. it took a long time to crush the uprising. it was pretty much widespread. saudi arabia does not want to see that happen again. extent of isis'virtual presence in the kingdom is not what aq had in the early 2000. i know that, too. the concern here is not isis but the rise of radicalization across the region and what might happen inside the kingdom as a result of that.
saudi arabia sees opportunity in what isis is doing in iraq. it sees opportunity. andortunity to weaken iran iraq and to strengthen its bargaining hand vis-à-vis the iranians. have pretty much all i today. it is a highly risky approach. but that is the only strategy they have in iraq. david ignatius got it partially right as far as the sunni tribes, which i call the x factor. attacking maliki. it is saudi arabia that is using maliki.er to attack why give up the bargaining hand
today? a new prime minister in baghdad and the sunnis back to government in baghdad. is it in saudi arabia's immediate interest to cooperate with iran to defeat isis? maybe. defeated, riyadh has no cause of play. riyadh has done some pretty dumb things over the past few years. one thing you want to will shoot itself in the foot in iraq. if saudi arabia wants isis defeated, only have to do this testing sunni tribes to finish it off. there is much more than isis happening in iraq today. all of those are at the forefront of a we know is now a sunni rebellion. isis happens to be in the
forefront of it in the most brutal force. some pretty important facts i want everybody to remember. only 20% of most soul is controlled by isis. i welcome the ambassador to challenge that fact. the mosque was pretty much empty. what if isis becomes stronger and gets closer to the kingdom? is near the saudi border. saudi arabia's concern is not isis, per se. it is what radicalization as a whole could cause inside the kingdom. kind of a ticking time bomb. the longer it survives, the more difficult it is to deal with the consequences.
here is my conclusion. there is a balance of terror between the iranians and the saudi's. the only thing that can break it is compromise. >> i do want to press you on one point. how concern should we pay that steps of isis'many next would be a threat to some territory or assets in the kingdom of saudi arabia? how concerned are the saudis about that as well? you give the impression that they are looking toward other things. experts were surprised by isis' year.in iraq this or shall werprise not be concerned about that? have beenains in iraq
explained by analysts. they received a lot of support from the sunni tribes. it was a reflection of the weakness of the other side. i think the country that should be most concerned about territorial gains should be jordan and lebanon, not exactly saudi arabia. the very nature of isis explains why saudi arabia should not be that concerned about what isis could do. factor is the masterminds of this phenomenon. and the sunni tribes that if provided the fertile ground for this organization to operate in iraq. i think the saudis has some
influence over some tribes. reassuresof influence some in the kingdom that this is a manageable threat for now. i would be surprised otherwise. >> we will open it up to questions now. i might ask the ambassador the first question. get your thoughts ready and i will call on you. do you have any thoughts on what was said? and i had a question for you, sir. , candy u.s. avoid what was characterized in the press, a, by general petraeus, avoid being the air force for the shia sect against the sunnis and against isis? how can we avoid that geometric political issue while still achieving some of our common
interests? interests. >> with the election we just had, last week elected -- a sunni from the diyala province. the other positions talking about, such as the various ministries, such as defense ministry, interior ministry, may go to sunni arab. so the checks and balances which the political class in iraq are discussing moving forward. so in a way you'll have key positions within the system who can make sure that this is not a single shia for others. the other aspect is which in a way compliments what i was talking about, is what you have now is surely not a sunni-shia narrative. it's part of but not the whole story. the situation, the atrocities committed by isil against the
sunni, executing 12 sunni imams in one day in muslim because they didn't hand over their mosque to them, is a sign. literally blowing up mosques. it's not a sign of -- it's much more dangerous. i'm a movie fan and we have a mutation. the x -- a mutation of the -- the various elements elements aw mutation of the baathists. it cannot be controlled. the colored war emergencyity of iran and saudi arabia in iraq will not work for either party. do the iranians, the strategic interest is a threat, literally and in relation -- to the southeast, i'm afraid they're
not -- the jorans are not not immune. the lebanese i might defeather in the sense we iraqis have -- we have had already areas that got used to this culture of violence unfortunately, but to the saudis, it's what you are saying is right, then they're playing a risky game itch don't think it's advisable for anybody to play fire. nobody can control the monster. i talk about a new narrative, new doctrine has to be created to deal with this, and i can assure you one thing, it's not -- not only -- it's a decade episodes. whomever deals with the situation has to have a decades-long-term mentality. to say we need to address this sectarian narrative, and going back to the shia situation, i'm afraid the shia will not be in a strong position anyway to bar
bargain. so why so fearful against the high risk of inaction? >> thank you very much now. we'll open it for questions. this lady in the second row. when the microphone comes please identify yourself. >> thank you so much. a great talk so far. i'm christine fa long from the hill. i have a question for the ambassador. i was hoping you can provide some clarity on something. the u.s. says that there is a delivery of apaches for iraq ready to go and iraq needs to sign the receipt and issue payment and the ball is in iraq's court they say. from your perspective, what -- there is any delay in doing so, and what are those? >> okay. the whole issue whether are there f-16s and apaches and others have become unfortunately a chapter you could have
prevented by early resolving the iraq request for f-16s and apaches. it was stuck in congress. was stuck with the white house and unfortunately that delay has already had an impact, adverse impact on us. we have seeked this request for a long time until recently was approved by the congress, and unfortunately, even if it's approved now, even if with pay the bill now this, pilots are not in place and so on. so, it will not address immediate threat we have had. it also has created various questions for us back home. the questions i talked about regarding the u.s. commitment to iraq, that is not my own opinion. i'm talking about back home. i'm reflecting serious concern back home as to the u.s. commitment to the integrate and to the protection of democracy of iraq. that apache and f-16 are all unfortunately anecdotal examples
which have strengthen the argument back home that the whole u.s. institution are not backing iraqi democracy. [inaudible] >> still won't come in time -- >> the pilots are not there. >> the pilots are is not there. next question? >> my name is -- i'm with the syrian national coalition. am bars huff opinioned out, the modern opposition in syria has been fighting isis for a long time. do you foresee the -- question for ambassador faily -- do you foresee the iraqi government working with the syrian opposition against isis? because they remained largely neutral in the revolution. >> we have tried to keep away from the syrian internal issues for a long, long, long time. to the dismay to a lot of people because we knew this issue will not go over e overnight, will not resolve overnight. the situation is the syrians
regime strengths are much more than people tried to give them -- and, therefore, we will try to keep away from any interior issues. by the way, as we kept away from the kurdish situation in turkey, the shia problem in -- for example, in bahrain, and others as well. we have intentionally said, we don't want to get our neighbors internal affairs and keep away as far as we can. >> i'm not encouraging that but in a day and age where borders are rather forrous, and in particular the syria-iraqi border has been extremely pourous and has led to the breadth of the problem we're facing today, we're discussing syria, discussing iraq, discussing jordan and lebanon. i think the days when we could say, this is an only internal affair, are long past. are there -- >> the question is the line of
getting involved. with whom do we side against whom? that is the key issue. there are international issues. not that beggars cannot be choosers. it's just that where do you draw the line in getting involved in other issues, and let me, as a point which i talk about -- other gulf countries, unfortunately over the last ten years, we have gone backwardses in everything he else to accommodate neighbors. we know for a fact none of them -- all of them are fragile. we know for a fact if we wouldn't get involved in internal affairs of our neighbors, really have an impact have the funds but we kept away from it. we hope this is a key lesson for others that they need to not meddle to moov into the iraqi issues and deal riff walk -- we have democracy, transparency,
and they should respect that. >> you had a -- >> a comment briefly on the iraq-syria dynamic. the united states has had -- and i predict will continue to have -- a very difficult request of the iraqi government, of whatever government emerges in iraq, and that is for iraq to deny iran's use of air space and ground space to transfer weaponry to the assad regular anytime in sir -- regime in syria and for iraq to deny iran the ability to raise militias in iraq and transport young iraqi men to syria to fight on behalf of the assad regime. i think we all understand in a
sort of political science 101 sense why it's so difficult for iraq to say, yes, to this, but i think any iraqi government can expect that the united states will continue to press on this front. >> can i add something? the question and the -- wasn't sure regarding the answer as to why iranians are not involved. they have offered to help literally to replace america or other -- in relation to any security agreements and others and said no. with relation to militia, said no. and we also had the same situation in syria. tried to keep away our young ones from going to syria situation. so, in a way we have cautiously said, no, to the iranians because we have the questions as to our relationship with the united states, a strategic
relationship with the united states. our military, our army and everything else has been from the united states. why need to go to the iranians? why need to break international sanctions? and in a sense we were trying to play the mature player and understanding there is -- but as i said in my speech, vacuum is being created and it will be filled by whoever is available on the ground. that's the reality of it. >> thank you very much. additional questions? yes, this gentleman in the second row. >> from american center. i was listening to -- i think the kurdish issue completely ignored and in the wake of the advance of isis, the -- long borders, 1100-kilometer border, 600 miles with the territory of isis. and if not for the kurdish
soldiers at peshmerga, the most safest and security area in iraq for all these years, so the kurdish soldiers hold it and when the kurdish soldiers went to save kirkuk, the oil, the oil rich area, it was basically condemnation from the iraqi central government that they are against the law, the constitution. but again for the terrorists to take over or the oil-rich area? now look at -- besides -- >> do you have a question? >> one more question. >> please. >> more than three-quarter million refugee in kurdish area, small area, and the kurdish people, without budget, for seven months from central government, iraq is a rich country. $50 billion a year that they don't have the budget, no for for seven months and a -- isn't
that, i ask you for the united states to ask the iraqi government immediately to release that budget of kuroda stan, and kurdistan, and immediately -- we will be in trouble, and we are the best of the -- one of the best allies of the united states. the united states should let us have weapons to defend ourselves. >> what's your question? >> the question is, i'm asking, could you ask your government, the united states, to immediately ask to reach the budget of the kurdish area for the last seven months, no salaries for the people. >> the key issue is the relationship between baghdad and the krg, which prior to this unfortunate situation we're in now. that is going to be part of the ongoing government formation.
clearing various cold cases or hot cases would be one of the issues which would be dealt with. it will not be done in isolation, not done as a transaction situation. it will be a package to understand exactly what the roles are supposed to be of the krg and central government:... . they have a quarter of a million syrian refugees. they have an extra half a million. they have done great jobs. the red cross and others are working with them. we have issues to address. it is a serious issue, displacement. >> additional questions? yes. >> i would like to ask ambassador faily, do you still
consider iraq an arab country? can younswer is yes, imagine any situation in which the arab league could play a useful role in this crisis? we remember how the worst years of fighting in the lebanese civil war were stabilize by the arab deterrent force, largely syrian. it did not reduce the level of violence. do you think there is anything in that kind of extra a rocky intervention -- iraqi intervention to be useful for you? about asking a kurd whether that is part of an arab nation. i am a kurd myself. we are a member of the arab
league. shied away officials from the part of iraq. memberse been diehard of the arab league. our foreign minister has tremendous issues with our arab government. he has always push for iraq to be more engaged in the arab league. [indiscernible] how effective, that is a good question. we have felt that arab league has played a positive role in democracy of iraq. but individual countries have been picky as to when they want to deal with support in the
democracy of iraq. that is an issue. the arab has to address. people have said why the position in libya was different then the position elsewhere, and that is a good question. we are seeking support. we have said you need to stand with the democracy and the integrity of iraq mutationhe new isil will not be confined to the borders of iraq. no one is immune from it. let me add one small point. what you have and iraq is not 10 years american engagement and iraq. it may prolong for a while. what you have is a threat to the whole region. it needs to be looked at
objectively so that people are not -- about the vision. is not a pure internal issue. we are reviewing that. regional and more geopolitical implications, primarily with the situation next to the mediterranean and next to europe. that's what needs to be looked at. >> i want to say it is hard to imagine right now a regional response to was happening in iraq because of the fragmentation we see in the region. 2011the arab uprising in you saw the previous architecture in the middle east collapse. at the center was the united states. connected to it were some strong mubarakies, people like
who are no longer there because of the revolution that gripped the region. that a have seen is vacuum has been created into which there is no one else who can step into the vacuum. i think there is no regional power that has proven capable of stepping into that vacuum. i do think it is going to need to be the united states to fill that vacuum. i do not think there is a purely regional substitute for that. i think this is an example in iraq. the united states needs a new sick. he -- a new strategy. our new role may not be the same role that it has to be the essential role. we have allies who can contribute if we provide that leadership.
a long-term objective needs to be more regional integration, not just on the security side but on the economic side. compare the activity in the police to what it is in asia. you have a tremendous amount of activity in asia which is utterly lacking in the middle east. you think about the new strategy in the middle east. they need to be other integration elements built around it. today,>> the arab league whether we like it or not, is saudi arabia. it used to be egypt and saudi arabia, but egypt is out of the picture. the circumstances under which the force would materialize would happen under the framework of something that you mentioned in one of your columns, david.
will i ever witnessed the summit at that time? i think of the leadership in reality is just not ready for that. it is unfortunate, but in my opinion the one thing that will barack --k -- say save iraq is an understanding of the compromise between the saudi's and the iranians. i am not saying that they should reconcile or that i am naïve to the depths of the differences between the countries, but a pragmatic, realistic management of the relationship, the sterilization of the relationship, making sure that certain red lines are not crossed, that happened throughout the cold war. this is exactly what they need today to extinguish many of the fires that are happening across
the region. unfortunately, something much worse needs to happen for them to realize that this is the time to talk more seriously. if this gets much worse and spills over? is there any sense in terms of the regional approach of the gcc, perhaps led by the united states playing some role if this gets worse? >> i am always very cautious to talk about them as a whole. you have known that for some time i have been arguing the differences within that group have been differences -- have been significant as well -- as well. there are some people who want nothing to do with the gcc in that group. therefore any cohesive or collective response coming from them, for me, is kind of a myth. it will be individual approaches from certain countries and, given the relative weight of saudi arabia, saudi arabia will be speaking the loudest and have
the most influence over what that part of the world will do, whether in a rack or other places. so, gcc as a whole is kind of a tough analytical concept for me to understand, frankly. >> i am sorry that we are out of time. i wish i could go on quite a bit longer. i know that i had at least a dozen more questions. please join me in thanking our fantastic panelists today. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [inaudible conversations] ad
call people to say you get the campaign you just want to see the governor races or the senate races but they say no. we want it all. we appreciate you being here. if you send us the question we will get it here. what a treat with the people of this stage. this morning i said we may have the best "politico" event ever because we have a visual aids and the people who created them, the hottest commercials of the cycle so far and we're lucky to have the people on the stage we have michael who
worked on for presidential campaign and he says for hottest said that race is from alaska and kentucky and ashley founding partner at strategic partners and burgeoning class consulting she's just won the cochrane primary as everyone predicted the outcome of that runoff and now is also doing the a governor in arkansas wray said that is a political hot spot right now and todd called his firm something else strategy's. [laughter] >> we had to pay five grant
to do something else.com. [laughter] so first really quick while we were back there ashley you told us the best thing about the romney campaign was the best thing? >> we had a great location in north and the boston. >> we will look at an ad named a squeal the republican senate candidate - - candidate in iowa and todd had the idea but what is really called? >> most people at outside the campaign collet the castration in advertisements
>> i am joni and i grabbed castrating hogs on the iowa farmer and i get to washington i know how to cut pork. >> mother, a soldier, a conservative. >> it is time to force washington to do is the saving cut wasteful spending and repeal obamacare and balance the budget. i approve this message because washington is full of big spenders. let's make them squeal. >> what was the germ of that idea? >> that spot came aboutv>vóx about one year ago i was in iowa meeting with joni and another consultant working on a speech for her aunt and i said tell me how you grew up and she said it was very normal.e
of was canning food and beans and we would feed the hogs ian castrate and she just kept going. what? [laughter] we would castrate the hog. so i made no little note of that then we came back to it the next day and came up with the line about cutting pork. but originally was to be a one liner in the speech with the debate so we thought let's use this in the debate to see if it works and it did. so i filed that way until a was time for television and.
>> why is an act had defective? >> it captures joni. the most effective advertising captures the spirit of the candidate if you ask what republican ads that tout that is what i mentioned because that is why she is the nominee with a memorable metaphor and she comes off fairly well in the ad and she is likable. >> there were six candidates running and one was self funded. >> and what does the effectiveness of this ad tell us about what is moving political consumers this cycle? >> you really have touche captures something real there are so many political ads that voters can sniff
out if you are not authentic is just good old fashioned authenticity. >> we were all joking before we came out because we have clans whose see a spot we have made for one client then they say how come i don't have a spot like squeal with the 600th thousand views? and i say if you grew up castrating hogs and did not tell me, then we will pick a spot like that. [laughter] but the authenticity peace is so critical a and it comes through. >> the second one is called mother sun for a democratic
candidate for congress from massachusetts. >> dad is in the tea party. >> it was bad enough to take on the big banks king live legislatures. >> and he protects women and the abortion clinics from harassment. >> going all the way to the supreme court. >> key wants to go to congress to take on the nra and the tea party. >> i will not give up. >> universal background checks. >> some things you don't stop fighting for. >> their right to choose an equal pay for women. >> it has been this way 35 years.
>> i love you dad. >> this candidate a gave man living with aids as a liberal democrat you saw this a and you send an e-mail that said what? >> i e build several people and said who was a media consultant on this campaign? someone said it is mark putnam and i said i hoped never go up against this guy. i love that add. [laughter] >> gander raised a huge amounts of money. >> is about getting to know your candidate i spent time and learned that his father
was the tea party and he paid the dues and we in the campaign always thought this was a great piece of the message we missed the beginning but he says i never forget the day i had to tell my dad. that is their relationship. sold message why is to have to capture the personality but driven by a strategy. we need to prove that he was the most progressive candidate is in the race of whatever credit primary. we did not shy away from massachusetts liberal but a way to make that interesting. the challenge we faced was very little bunny. he could not reach his fund-raising goals because there were other candidates
so i went in there thinking of a right to 302nd advertisements for cable. but i realized i could do not do justice in 30 seconds so we will do the 62nd ad and went on cable it got a lot of play with msnbc and money came in that we already should have raised we raise about $200,000 in one week. >> i remember when i watched it again yesterday i was struck by the first time they're both so likable and there is so much message in it and it is clear that they
love each other. you take this political messaging and they pulled off. >> fees to ads address something that is one of the biggest concerns of consultants right now which is the overcrowded super pac all advertising aggressively already. >> these are too great examples you knew something that will break through. so you find something that cuts through. there are a couple of other strategies or testimonials.
>> what is the example of the effective surrogate? >> and i think monica is testimonial was adjusted in that is the challenge right now to cut through. >> how much of a difference did brett farr of make throat? >> a big difference. >> i think partly because of his record pointing immelt how conservative. >> mark you have an article in "the new york times" the headline was political ad man finds the personal in the democratic hopefuls with real people and unless i
misread it you were turning on its head the assumption that only negative ads work. that they talk them down but in the and they do something different. >> the kids back to capturing your candidate with all the super peck's they're filled with information about your opponent. not to say they don't have a responsibility at times but we have this unique thing we can capture and they're positive reasons and this is a flurry of negative advertising. one of the campaign's wishes mark they gauge from alaska starts with his history for
alaska and we could tell those stories. nobody making things up but it was really him. those types of ads stickout the negative thing comparative advertising does make it impact but it does elevate because that is the only chance they get to hear from the incumbent or the challengers. >> and other high wire act was president obama is 30 minute commercial seven networks with 35 million people on election eve. as was often the case the most interesting sentiments democrats say he to be reluctant to give up.
>> is not perfect. [laughter] there have been examples where they do space then catch fire bet people will tell you and the end is a always a belly's one to give them a fair shot. >> so what tested back of the bell worked well? >> there were some advertising some years back we had done for word the kerrey campaign there was some advertising that had a decent response but been we saw the numbers. >> but then to see a concept
or a technique did you see something works better on the air than in the lab? >> that is a good question. sometimes campaigns are reluctant to have the candidates talk to the camera but i think how a candidate is most successful sometimes it is the interviewer speaking to the camera. there is times with concepts of a good example like governor richardson when he was running for president. allotted people questioned why he was interviewing for the job. they were funny and he was self-deprecating and he lived at the unique intersection to regret the underestimated with the amazing resonate and a great
sense of humor. some thought he should be shown that way but they tested okay but we put them on the air in iowa and new hampshire jumped 12 points so we were onto something now we had john edwards and barack obama and we had to break into the top three but we put him into the consideration said with a technique we were not one had to percent sure but it worked. >> i know when we do testing it is the softer stuff, the canada a straight shoot camera or interview style, a compelling little story about growing up for their
remote or their dad and show substance? and now that is what focus groups to you putting into the context of pay cravath environment and it cuts wind surfing, and we set it to blue danube and through testing it was like, oh, yeah. it didn't poorly, but it didn't test off the charts. but i think it's that point that when you're in a crowded field, to put something up like that, it really caught people's eye
and, you know, they kind of got the message. >> that ad really was a game changer, and why was it so much more effective than you might have thought in the lab? than the data might have suggested? >> i think sometimes taking risks, to mark's point, you really have to trust your gut. and in focus be groups that people will be very critical of what they're watching -- >> so what was the reluctance about the wind surfing ad which can in retrospect seems like such a home run? >> no, i just think in focus groups you'd hear people sort of say, well, i don't know, i mean, it just didn't test off the charts. >> interesting. >> but it goes with the point of following your gut. we sort of thought this captures something here, and it's message driven which is, you know, the greatest point of all. >> ashley, something you did in '04 that got a lot of attention was the keynote video for the 2004 convention. it was called "the pitch." tell us why even networks picked up that up. tell us why.
>> "the pitch" was, it's the film that introduced the president in 2004 at the convention, and it was actually something that came together late in the game. we had put together a different convention film, and we thought, okay, that's great, you know? but what else? and we went, hmm. we sort of sat down and started thinking what can we really, what can we really tell about the president that people don't already know? and there's these amazing photographs from the white house, so we really just dove into that and took moments, you know? these sort of telling, pivotal points about his presidency and kind of what happened at 9/11 and interlacing real people through it. and i just think it was very, very personal and told, showed a side of the president that people had forgotten about. >> so my thanks to christine and the -- [inaudible] for making these clips possible. we have another set of clips that we're going to queue up
right now. ♪ >> we want to go in a different direction. we want to have an america that celebrates success, gets jobs for people who are hurting and that stops the war on coal now. >> it is a brand of coal, and that's who we need in washington, d.c.. >> mitch mcconnell does have the experience. >> senator mcconnell is our voice for coal. >> barack obama will be gone in three years, but coal will still be in the ground. we are going to have a future when we get past this administration. [applause] >> i'm mitch mcconnell, and i approved this message. >> and this is don disney from clover leaf, kentucky, and he has a question for senator mcconnell. >> senator, i'm a retired coal miner. i wanted to know how you could have voted to raise my head care costs $6,000 -- medicare costs $6,000. how are my wife and i supposed to afford that? >> i don't think he's going to
answer that. i approved this message because i work to strengthen medicare, not bankrupt seniors like don. >> mark putnam, i think that that ad was just called the question. i believe it's going to be one in a series. tell us, we'll give you the idea for what you're trying to do there. >> well, first off, she's celebrating regular kentucky people and giving them a voice and a platform that they would not ordinarily have. senator mcconnell is notorious for, first off, he's not campaigning much. it's hard to find him, hard to see him, hard to ask him a question, so this is giving regular people a chance to ask him a question. it is; obviously, delivering information that people need to know about his record, but without the usual harsh attack ad with the figger in somebody -- finger in somebody's face. ..
>> not that there was a spending ceiling but there was an effective ceiling. spending is going up year after year, but i do think that you reach a point of diminishing returns when you have outside groups after outside group throwing these pure post spots and it just means spots with a v.o. and editor uses the stock images. it is a stereotypical negative campaign ad. and i need these office in 2012 in the last two, three weeks we saw outside groups in the house and senate side from both parties literally just throwing money onto the airwaves with ads that if you had actually six months earlier kind of plot it out the spot that we want to
put, you know, a million dollars behind the last week of the race come of answer would be no. and if i do think that there is a limit to how effective the outside spending can be in the current context that it's in and one of the reasons mark alluded to before is the only people who control the candidates themselves is the campaign. we have the ability to take the candidate and put them to interview formats and put their kids in with their families and of this really matters in the statewide races. for congressional races if the bar to get to know actually who your member of congress is but people do want to have a sense of who you are and most super
packs have a hard time delivering that kind of information. >> we all have tivos or some version of them and try to speed through the best work. what are ad makers trying to do to counteract that? >> i think broadcast has always been the broadest reach in television and certainly they become more targeted at a more effective way to reach voters but it's interesting to watch the role of digital grow as well because we target both geographically and demographically through the advertising. and to me it is truly a combination of all and of course radio i think radio is also effective in different areas i think it is more about building an eco- chamber so that voters can see you through to tv and
cable if they are according through the commercials you know you are serving them through ads online and the radio and there is having that eco- chamber. >> now we are going to look at a final set of clips. >> i've seen a tv ad of a celebrity and it made my dad a little jealous. my dad gave me a good name. a lot of common sense. he said it don't spend what you don't have. stand on principle even if you have to stand alone if you have to eat you have to work. when you're done with politics give me a hand. i approved this message. >> are you a once a week christian? they say senator mark pryor is saying he made a negative
statement about his faith challenging him on that faith. i'm not ashamed to say that i believe in god and i believe in his word. the bible teaches us no one has all the answers, only god does. i'm mark pryor and i approved this message because this is who i am and what i believe. >> break this down and tell us what works and what doesn't work. what did you notice as you walked through the mechanics? >> i thought the father and son approach is an example of what works. you have seen a lot of ads over the years of the candidate and their parent and often times they are corny and forced into too much affection between the two and it doesn't feel real or there is tension between father and son. i did a series of ads with senator landrieu and her father and they are kind of riveting each other. there is tension that is
reflective of how a family really is. so i like that piece of it. the congressman comes off as likable site features him in a personality to get a sense of family and i think that works. i think the response from senator pryor's campaign is effective that when you don't want to go into is questioning somebody's faith. that is a third rail that can get you into a lot of trouble. that is something the campaign might regret. >> do you agree? >> it's probably accurate. >> we have a question on the flipsidflip side of what we havt been talking about that has ever been a political ad or is very well-known add not one of yours but one that is notorious in the profession that tested well but flopped? like t --
[laughter] >> i'm not going to name any names but they put a bio spots featuring the candidate and the only thing on the air and the negatives went up. [laughter] did that candidate win or lose? >> the candidate won. they fire the media team. >> what other trend should people in the room we aware of either that you come up high in the air or that you picked up on? >> one of the things you and i talked about is reaching people in other ways than over the air tv. >> while i think i touched on this earlier that seeing the
political ads in every medium and how they are going to start to follow you around and that echo chamber in targeting so that they are constantly being exposed to the message so that is near the cycle. >> of ththe different platformsr meetings. >> you will have broadcast tv which is the most effective way to reach. and in cable if you can target a message with different voters and through online you have the banner and the targeting where they are now finding you and being delivered to you. i agree with all of that.
the digital side is in a lot of ways the wild west and its technology and the ability to target people in a lot of ways is outpacing the ability to measure it and so it seems like there's a new story about whether it is the thoughts that are jacking up the number of the views that the video has or that you are buying an online network and you think that you're going to be placed in a certain place and way and it turns out that what you bought was resold it to somebody else and by the time you get placed its not at all what you were getting and so you are making huge strides and the cycle was better than it was in the last cycle but when we buy
tv we have a really good sense of what it is that we are buying and how many people are seeing it. digital is still getting their. one sentence. you told me that another trend that you are seeing is earlier spending. you told me they come earlier and this is an important conce concept. the reason you are seeing more spending early on -- number one because there is so much spending now there's so much clutter being up earlier allows you to move numbers in a less competitive market so you can get lower rates, and the second is we are seeing this more and more, you know, there used to be a pretty even slope in terms of your spending where you max out
your television spending. but now the add event of the billions of dollars from those being spent by outside groups everyone has a pretty good sense of when the outside groups are going to be polling. they are going to be polling at the end of august and september. so it behooves you to be doing really, really well when those outside groups are taking the pole because that's when they will be deciding that they are going to invest in that race or not. and so, i know the campaigns that are kind of rolling the dice to get the numbers up ear early. >> last question. you are a marathoner. what is a running tape? >> i'm a swimmer. it's a long race usually and you
can't judge a race in any snapshot in time other than a horse race it really is a long campaign in the pot is right. you have to play an earlier game and still be there at the end. and every race is different. >> they want to thank you for being here and mark putnam, ashley and todd here us. my boss at politico and all of you for the interest in the campaign. thanks for a great conversation. [applause]
[inaudible conversations] thanks to mike allen and everyone for joining us. before we get started on stage, a quick reminder to everyone here. you can send questions at hash tag campaign pro. i have a great star-studded lineup of panelists here. we don't have visuals like you did the last one because they didn't make for good visuals. we mix the visuals and you will have to listen to us talk. i have two colleagues that are star reporters. senior political reporters for
politico. john is the founder and ceo of social sphere inc. at the harvard institute of politics and the doctor later he at the university of virginia center for politics and editor-in-chief of the crystal ball and also a columnist for politico magazine. it now befornow before we get sw many of you are addicted to politico? for how many of you is that your first read in the morning? the honest. and for how many is it your last read at night? and how many of you are politico readers? that's great. and you're happy with it? yes, no? good, good. well i can't tell you how to
respond and the interest at starting something from nothing to something that's really become a must read for a lo a lf people so thank you for your support. now, today's an important day for all of us here because today is the day of the release of the second politico poll that we did with john's firm and its gotten huge pickup around the country coming and we've been really excited about that. and i want to ask john to open up and ask first about how what's different about the pole and why we think or hope it stands out from others. >> thanks for having me. there are a couple of things that are different. i guess the first thing is it is a complete collaboration with frankly everyone on the panel between larry's coastal ball in terms of where the competitive districts and states are.
we also work very, very closely with your team to tell us what they are hearing on the trail but what makes i think it's most unique is most of the polls in the country do a fine job of measuring public opinion on what all of the adults think or likely voters in the midterm elections. four out of four are likely measured in one form or another. what this poll does is for three out of four people that are not going to participate in the competitive district or the house race while what we are doing is focusing on the people that are most likely to vote in the competitive districts only specially 25 to a third of all voters across the country their votes won't really matter in terms of shaping the short-term view in this country and that is what we are focused on. >> and we all sat down and did a journalistic exercise where we said what could the headline
possibilities before the pole even before we went into the field? can you talk about that process click the headline ended up being stay out of ukraine. we didn't really know that would be the headline. >> we didn't know we had a hunch when we started talking about doing the pole. it was clear that things were out of hand in iraq and syria. things were not as out of hand in ukraine as they are today but the trend lines were not great even a month ago and so it was clear that this was emerging as an area of vulnerability for the president and discomfort for the congressional democrats and within the republican party but we didn't really know what the voters thought about all of this. we knew that the president's approval rating on foreign policy was dropping but we didn't know what people would like to see him doing that he wasn't already doing so we decided to go in and in addition
to a couple of the questions we asked on the previous poll of the presidential approval and the horse race ballot with the congressional races and the president healthcare law we did this much more detail policy question about the foreign-policy and national security, so not just do you like what the president is doing generally speaking but should we be more involved in iraq and less involved as we are now and ask that any member of the sort of global hotspots some of which have gotten hotter since we went into the field. and i think that you might have guessed that the public is not overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the idea of the adventures at this point. i don't know that i would have guessed they were this enthusiastic about the engagement to the point that you have a big majority of republicans saying they support the plan to get everybody out of afghanistan across the age groups and geographically consistent saying what the rest of the world deal with its problems.
>> how might this be relative? the foreign-policy as we know doesn't always play. [laughter] who was it that said that? >> tip o'neill back in the day. it's an interesting tension in that we ask people how important is the foreign-policy or is it important in the terming the vote and you had nine of ten respondents say it was somewhat important or very important and many of those people are liars because they see that it's either somewhat or very important but then when you ask them what is the most important issue to you or what is the issue that comes to mind that is important to you and you can go down the list of jobs for economic growth, taxes, deficits from immigration before you get the foreign-policy described as the foreign policy is like 2%. if you add a foreign-policy national security defense
spending, terrorism, you get to 11%. so the gap between buying of ten people saying it is important and 11% of people saying that somewhere in that set of issues there is something that might be the top three or a come of it is a huge gap. so i think you looked a couple of states and congressional districts in particular where maybe the military bases or big populations. in mississippi last month and in the primarendedthe primary thera huge issue just within the republican party and as the democrats voted as well the state likes being conservative is a huge beneficiary of the federal defense contracts pending. so i think that you look to those places and then in addition to sort of moving individual votes you do look to these issues as setting up the larger atmosphere people feel like things are out of control. >> speaking of the
foreign-policy, there was interesting findings about her tenure at the state department. >> john's numbers brok broke usn a way that you don't see in the polling done so far. typically it's been an up or down for the tenure of state. this is an excellent good fair and poor category. so if you combine the two difference is that most people tend to come of the net for good was 43 i believe, 42, 43. and the net for fair or poor was 53. that was so that was a net majo. that is a big difference than host of the public polling that we have seen over the course of the last year and a half in the state department. and i think some of it is because it isn't being asked and up or down? the do you approve question tends to be easier and what category do you put it in and tell me if you disagree that takes you to refine your view of
little bits. so you can attribute it to a couple of things. number one, as alex has said that length and he is right the world is a very messy place at the moment and the trends have been heading that way the last several months but have a feeling of growing up in the last couple of weeks now hillary clinton has been -- i reject the fact she isn't separating herself on the economy but she certainly has on the foreign-policy. but i think what the numbers suggest is that isn't necessarily going to matter when things are very messy because she has been out there having to answer questions at having real-time about a foreign-policy issue that she is no longer involved in and having to defend for instance the recent that doesn't look so great right now in light of the current events. number two, the port number was the biggest one. for 32% and i think as much as there's been a discussion on twitter and blogs today about whether we were emphasizing the
negative too much i think when you have a single category that is that high there is a certain definition and it's hard to take it away. i also think as much as i do not think that benghazi will be the reason people do or do not vote for her there is a case to be made with a lot of people have heard about her has related to that. either poor or positive. her folks will argue very strongly that the negative isn't sticking that i think that the numbers do suggest there is at least some sense among the voters of something happening. >> you brought this story on the chapter in her book. how skillfully do you think they have handled were anticipated the attacks on her position? >> i think that's the benghazi issue and a lot of the foreign-policy pieces for the most part were not handled thatt
well both in the book it's been swamped by the discussion of her gaps in wealth, but her critics have actually not laid out a huge glove on the book itself. they would also argue because there isn't that much in the book but generally speaking, in terms of benghazi, she gives a pretty thorough telling that at least gives a roadmap for democrats that are hearing about this in the 2014 election. >> where is your crystal ball? >> i left it in charlottesville. >> can you still take a chance and help us without that? >> i can try. >> can you talk a little about your sense of foreign-policy and how that might be playing out in november? >> iab lead in analyzing both
presidential and midterm elections from 30,000 feet actually after last week i don't think that is a safe place to be. but essentially, the higher your url looking down on the landscape of the election, the more likely you are to detect a general movement in one direction or another. the most interesting thing that i saw the most revealing as usual is a generic ballot because i believed it was plus two republicans. it was plus seven, and i think that's about right and i think other surveys have been showing that, too. it's very important for the midterm congressional elections because it tells you basically where it is in mid-july so you have to be careful. but we take a couple observations that are important about the midterms and have nothing to do with
foreign-policy and surprisingly little to do with most domestic policies. this isn't where i thought it would be at this time last year or even for that matter january. i didn't think it would be anything like 2010 because they are already scooping up in the house. they lost a few of them in 2012 but it i isn't what i thought it was going to be. i thought since president obama was in the low 40s depending on the season and some other factors that this would be a predominantly maybe a very good republican year. >> i think it is mild. at least in mid-july. now it can be late. you can have them develop in late september and october sometimes they are developed in august in 2010. we were the first to call the house or the republicans what we
said by the white margin at least 40 seats in august because the generic ballot was moving so strongly in the republican direction. well, that is not happening. when you look at the house and the republicans will probably pick up a few seats i think it will be a wash plus two in the democratic direction of zero change and you will have some incumbents that will be the headline everybody says the western civilization collapsed into the fact of the vast majority of incumbents will be reelected. it is the senate that is revealing. and this is the best map for republicans since 1980. they should've run a big margin based on the conditions that ought to be present in the six-year election.
it isn't happening so far. it isn't happening. i can't see them gaining fewer than four. so that will be a mildly good year. i can see them getting five and i can see them getting six and if you stretch me i can see at seven but they will not run up the margin big enough to sustained 2016 if the turnout is as democratic as it has been in the last couple of elections. so that is my view from. it isn't as interesting. it's not nearly as interesting as 2006 and i'm sorry to say i know i said the wrong thing but that's my view of it. >> how is your view a little closer? >> the point that larry raises to sort of give you a back story on the poll, we got the numbers back last week. we were a little concerned about
the sample that we ended up getting because what you do is you and you know, select a set of voters randomly in the ballot in the states and see the response to the polls. and you can wait the population going into afterwards you're not literally going to tinker with while we would like to see more women in the sample even though they want more women so we are going to multiply it by nuts and bolts kind of stuff. ..
>> all the movement was within a margin of error, so we're not going to just junk this poll because it doesn't feel identical to the previous of poll. and the reason for that is really simple. in 2012 republicans got a lot of polls with, we saw over and over again these public polls showing more democrats participating than republicans and a lot of us in the -- than a lot of us in the media thought should be participating. and there was the whole unskewed phenomenon, right? if a poll came back showing more black people or more young people than felt right, the temptation was let's exclude this and go with what we think is going on. as it turns out, a lot more young people and african-americans participated than we thought we were going to participate. so sometimes when you end up with a different sample because the one you're expecting, that's because it's a different electorate than the one you're
expecting. so we don't just throw out a poll because there's been movement in the margin of error. you interpret in light of that, but basically, i think, with the question this poll raises and it's the one that larry is sort of sketching out is maybe this isn't going to be the kind of election where democrats just stay at home and republicans come out with overwhelming enthusiasm. maybe it's a little bit more of a 50/50 test of wills. and i agree with larry this is not shaping up to be a sort of epic midterm election the way we got in 2006, '8, '10, but i think what is interesting is what you see now race to race, we saw it in the mississippi primary last month, we see it in the georgia republican primary tonight, we've seen it in a couple of gubernatorial campaigns is that tactics wednesday up being worth a lot more. back to 2010, there were a number of campaigns we could say, well, this democratic senate candidate really ran a
much, much better campaign than the republican opponent, but they were never going to win this 2010. i think that's much less likely to happen this year across the board. >> john, could you tell us some takeaways from the poll for november? >> yeah. one thing i want to touch about, talking about republicans, one of the reasons we're all kind of agreeing, at this stage 7% of republicans think barack obama, you know, is doing a good job as president, but only 53% think republicans in congress are doing a good job, right? so unlike 2010 we see disapproval of republicans and democrats at a far greater extent than we saw in 2010. in fact, there was two times more disapproval both in our numbers when we look at, like, pew numbers kind of consistently, we see two times as much disapproval among democrats but three times among republicans. so just incredibly upset, volatile electorate, and we don't know who yet will, obviously, participate. we also see, again, in this all should be taken through the lens
of one out of four or one out of three voters in america. so it's not surprising that, you know, as an example secretary clinton will be viewed harsher through this lens than if we included california, massachusetts, etc. so i guess what i would say is that democrats need to begin to reconnect over the economy. this is something that's very, very clear kind of throughout the poll, and republicans have a hard time, you know, alex talked about republicans talk about foreign policy, but when you ask republicans what the policy should be specifically in russia and iraq and syria, they don't know. we have slightly more republicans thinking that we should be less involved in russia than more involved prior to last week. we see similar numbers for iraq as well as syria. so i guess the question, and it's still very volatile, rick. i do think foreign policy will play a more significant role than perhaps other people on the panel. not necessarily because of the specific issue, but because of
the overall context in terms of do voters share the overall world view in terms of should we be engaged or should we not be engaged? not necessarily the policy, but especially among young independents. >> maggie, can we talk a little bit about the intersection of 2016 and midterms? one of the, some of the results also showed, talked about the hierarchy of surrogates that candidates or people want out there. can you talk a little about that? >> sure. and i would like to, if i can also ask if, john, you would tell me whether you think i'm reading your numbers right. but president obama still remains the democrats' most potent surrogate which i did find striking given the fact that his approval numbers are not great, and there are people who would rather not campaign with him and begin this is a battleground poll. blibt and hillary clinton are the next -- bill clinton and hillary clinton are the next two. there was a steep dropoff for
joe biden. 52% of democrats wanted him to campaign for them, and then very interesting, elizabeth warren had a much lower number, 30s, right? >> and 22% of democrats -- [inaudible] >> that's right. and i was very struck by that. one in five democrats and 22% in the overall sample had never heard of warren. so name id is a big factor here, and she is relatively new politically even among democrats. among republicans it was still, you know, a former nominee, mitt romney was the most popular among republicans, next was, i believe, jeb bush and then rand paul. >> rand paul not far behind. >> rand paul not far behind was really striking to me given that he remains pretty much the most interesting person to watch on the republican side for 2016 right now in terms of the moves he is making. the other number that i was struck by, independents across the board said every single one of them would make them less likely to vote for them than more likely which i took as a
throw the bums out approach defite the fact the share of -- despite the fact of the share of independents available has dwindled. that was a number that jumped out at me. would you disagree? >> no, in fact, it speaks to the mood. fewer politicians in my face, the better right now. right? >> but if you have to have one, have rand paul, the clintons or obama. >> and who is the most active out there of the possible presidential candidates? >> not hillary clinton. the, among the possible presidentials it sort of depends. they all have different priorities in terms of where the intersection is. you had chris christie go to iowa last week to campaign for terry branstad which there's a gubernatorial race there. that is as much about the intersection between what chris christie needs in terms of a rehab and what terry branstad is trying to do in iowa with the republican party. you have had rand paul doing some midterm campaigning. i think you're going to see
marco rubio doing a lot more. i think you will see jeb bush do very little because i think that he would like to not start the clock on himself as much. on the democrats' side, warren -- as i suspect most of you have been reading -- has been very active. joe biden has been very active. martin o'malley has been very active. you know, where people go -- going to iowa is easy and going to new hampshire is easy, but it's sort of the more surgical targets that i find more worth watching. >> could you talk a little about as the foremost hillary clinton watcher on reporters, you were on her book tour, you've covered her for years, she's about to go on vacation for three weeks. are we going to hear from her at that point? are there planned -- >> one of the things, so one of the things that's been striking, there's a couple of things that she's -- she's been adding like crazy interviews which is not -- she has done this rollout sort of backwards in terms of the book tour, i would argue, for
how you would handle it in 2014. i forgot what year it was, it's not 2016 yet. she just did jon stewart last week, right? i could make an argument that you probably would have wanted to start with jon stewart. so they're adding these events because the book is not, you know, lighting on fire. it's selling fine, but it's not selling the way living history did, and that's not surprising given that it's about a very narrow context as opposed -- >> and why is that important? i mean, book sales are nice, but why -- >> her people have been very preoccupied with the book sale issue for much of the last six months heading into the writing of it and then the rollout of it. they were afraid that if it didn't sell, that it would be viewed as and certainly described as a reflection of her popularity. that isn't what it is, but that is what they're worried about. and there is, as it happens, a pretty big chasm between what her last memoir sold in its first month which was a million copies and this one which has
sold about 300,000 copies. so she has been adding these, she's got a facebook chat later, she's doing a twitter interview, she's been adding these events sort of on the fly. she is supposed to on saturday be the understudy for george w. bush at a paid speech for a financial conference, and then she goes on vacation for three weeks, and i don't think we'll be hearing that much from her. she has some paid speeches at the end of august. in kentucky one local official said that he expects her to be campaigning this fall for allison grimes. i don't think that's a surprise given their relationship with her father. but so far they have yet to announce exactly what her targets are going to be, and i think they're going to be more limited than sweeping. >> larry, can you tell us about some surprises, upsets that may be in the offing for the fall that may not be on our radar? >> oh, i think most of them are on our radar. obviously, people are looking at
iowa. we're getting ready to move that to toss-up. we were waiting for this partnership to begin. i think it's been obvious that it's become a toss-up. and colorado is close to a toss-up. i suppose that might be an upset. in some people's minds if it happens. you know, the key races in the senate have been well known for some time now. look, you never know when somebody's going to be indicted. you never know -- [laughter] when, you know, someone's tongue is disconnected from the brain and they say something incredibly stupid and it ends up throwing away a senate or a house seat. so, you know, those are probably the upsets we don't see coming because the event that will precipitate them hasn't happened yet. but, you know, again, we're focusing -- we've been focused for a long time on the maps. if there are so few competitive house races, it's pretty easy the gauge what's going to happen in the house. you're not g